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from the dustjacket of the Harcourt first edition


IN THE COMFORTABLE CONFINES of Greenwich,  Connecticut, live some of the wealthiest and most sophisticated  Americans. When eight of them sit down to dinner at the home of  Richard Castle, a story of deception, infidelity, and murder  unfolds, powered by a richly intriguing cast of characters.
Castle, former Assistant Secretary for  Latin American Affairs, permitted, if not directed, the murder of  three Catholic nuns and a lay worker in El Salvador in 1980. Now,  State Department complicity in these murders has become public  knowledge, and Castle may well be called before Congress to  testify. While he cannot be certain that his former colleagues  intend to silence him, he knows how they do business. And he  knows how silence is ensured.
Against the background of Castle's  deeply secret drama, the stories of the other seven guests —  Castle's wife, a Catholic priest, a nun, a linguistics professor  and his wife, a successful novelist, and a woman who may be  having an affair with Castle — become a portrait of  arrogance and innocence, brutality and compassion in America  today. Each becomes a thread — dark, light, or a shade in  between in a carpet of intricate design, and as Howard Fast  weaves them together, they embody the interdependence of human  life and human guilt and the eternal work of redemption.